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#31 liuzhou

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 07:06 AM

No problem. I'm just glad someone is interested. Although it may take me a few days to answer everything. Work keeps getting in the way.

 

For now, let me say that the eggplants are indeed the long type as opposed to the rounder European ones. 

 

Like these:

 

Aubergines.jpg

 

Until I came to China, I had no idea that eggplant was so popular in the cuisine. I'll get back to you tomorrow with some info on the eggplant dishes - and maybe a recipe.

 

 


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#32 huiray

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 11:10 AM

 

You've gone to a great deal of work. In addition to the work of translation, thank you for providing a single document that can contain all the updates and corrections.

 

One of my dilemmas is that I frequently don't know which ones to ask about.  If it sounds very familiar then it may not provide much education for me; if it's very unfamiliar-sounding then it may contain ingredients too exotic for me to find: sea cucumbers, for instance, or even fresh bamboo. Ginger and garlic are easy to find.

 

There are a lot of eggplant recipes listed, and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare eggplant.  Am I correct in thinking these are the long, thin (what we call 'Asian') eggplants instead of the more round globe eggplants typical of Italian cookery?  A few of the recipes that caught my eye, largely because I don't know what their names indicate, are these:

 

烧汁铁板茄子 Iron Plate Eggplant /499 
金牌烧汁酿广茄 Gold Medal Braised Eggplant /500 
三鲜烧味茄 Three Delicacy Roast Flavour Eggplant /500
东北茄段 North-Eastern Eggplant /527 
天津茄泥 Tianjin Eggplant /527 
京酱八宝茄 Beijing Eight Treasure Eggplant /527
 
If you'd care to describe some of them, or else select one of them at random and translate that recipe, I'd be delighted to try it if possible.
 
I'm intrigued by this recipe.  Preserved egg?  For how long?  A description of this would be nice:
Tiger Skin Preserved Egg /387 
 
What are these like? 
Jinsha Green Beans /341 
 
Drunken fish and Mandarin fish sound interesting:
Shaoxing Drunken Fish /379
Peacock Mandarin Fish /574
Grandmother's Family Style Drunken Fish /393
 
I could go on and on, but I don't want to be *too* greedy.  I'll stop at one more, for now:
Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin /484
I ask about this because I've always been disappointed in what passes for "sweet and sour" dishes in Chinese restaurants in the USA.  It may be because my tastes just don't run in that direction, but I'm prepared to think I've just never had a properly balanced sweet and sour dish.
 
I'd be interested in reading more about any of these dishes; I eliminated nearly a dozen others before posting, lest I discourage you from responding.   :smile:
 

 

 

In addition to what Liuzhou stated in his preceding post, I would mention that there are many types of "Asian" eggplants, including Japanese, Chinese, SE Asian and Indian types, all of which do not resemble the large oval-shaped "Italian" type common in the West and in the USA and which is almost always thought of by most folks when one mentions "eggplant" to them.  The non-curly elongated type shown by Liuzhou are the most common in Chinese cuisine, but are not the only ones.  IMO almost all the other elongated/curly/round-Thai-type eggplants are preferable to those large oval Italian-type eggplants for versatility and taste, even though I am personally not a fan of eggplant in a general sense.  Many of these other types are available from Farmers' Markets nowadays, grown by enterprising folks (who are not Chinese) - do you have access to such markets?

 

Pending Liuzhou's reply, I would mention that "sweet and sour pork" is a bona fide dish in Chinese cuisine, especially in Cantonese parts - but the dish indeed differs substantially from the gloopy and sweet and vibrantly orange dish of the same name in American-Chinese cuisine (or, perhaps, even more accurately Chinese Take-Out Cuisine in the USA) which had been "developed" in the belief it satisfied a certain "preference" of USAmericans (and perhaps many Westerners). 



#33 Smithy

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 01:36 PM

In addition to what Liuzhou stated in his preceding post, I would mention that there are many types of "Asian" eggplants, including Japanese, Chinese, SE Asian and Indian types, all of which do not resemble the large oval-shaped "Italian" type common in the West and in the USA and which is almost always thought of by most folks when one mentions "eggplant" to them. The non-curly elongated type shown by Liuzhou are the most common in Chinese cuisine, but are not the only ones. IMO almost all the other elongated/curly/round-Thai-type eggplants are preferable to those large oval Italian-type eggplants for versatility and taste, even though I am personally not a fan of eggplant in a general sense. Many of these other types are available from Farmers' Markets nowadays, grown by enterprising folks (who are not Chinese) - do you have access to such markets?

Pending Liuzhou's reply, I would mention that "sweet and sour pork" is a bona fide dish in Chinese cuisine, especially in Cantonese parts - but the dish indeed differs substantially from the gloopy and sweet and vibrantly orange dish of the same name in American-Chinese cuisine (or, perhaps, even more accurately Chinese Take-Out Cuisine in the USA) which had been "developed" in the belief it satisfied a certain "preference" of USAmericans (and perhaps many Westerners).

Thanks for that additional information, hiuray. I'm not surprised to learn that there are many varieties of "Asian" eggplants; there are also multiple varieties of the fat round eggplants. Unfortunately, in my part of the country the labelers generally satisfy themselves with "Asian", with the default "Eggplant" occasionally modified as "Globe" or "Italian". I don't know what they'd do with the small, round eggplants that are about the size of duck eggs. :-)

Thanks also for the confirmation that sweet and sour pork is a genuine Chinese dish that's been corrupted in the USA. I'm looking forward to trying the real thing; I'm betting that it's a more nuanced dish than what you so aptly describe as gloopy, sweet and vibrantly orange. I've always thought the stuff I tried was too polarized: the culinary equivalent of a teeter-totter that just won't stabilize.

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#34 liuzhou

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:54 PM

 

 

There are a lot of eggplant recipes listed, and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare eggplant. Am I correct in thinking these are the long, thin (what we call 'Asian') eggplants instead of the more round globe eggplants typical of Italian cookery? A few of the recipes that caught my eye, largely because I don't know what their names indicate, are these:


烧汁铁板茄子 Iron Plate Eggplant /499
金牌烧汁酿广茄 Gold Medal Braised Eggplant /500
三鲜烧味茄 Three Delicacy Roast Flavour Eggplant /500
东北茄段 North-Eastern Eggplant /527
天津茄泥 Tianjin Eggplant /527
京酱八宝茄 Beijing Eight Treasure Eggplant /527

 

Here is some information on the first three eggplant dishes. I have separated them out as they seem to be more southern China in style as opposed  to the next three which are all northern style.

 

 

烧汁铁板茄子 Iron Plate Eggplant /499

 

‘Iron Plate’ usually refers to a common restaurant serving method. I’ve never seen it in a domestic setting. You may know it as ‘Sizzling XXXX”. It is usually a prepared meat or seafood dish brought to the table on an iron plate. It probably wasn’t cooked on that plate, but instead cooked in a wok then poured onto a very hot iron plate, and served immediately while still sizzling and spluttering. It can be quite spectacular when done well.

 

This recipe is different. It is really for a sort of  omelette with eggplant. Ingredients are eggplant, chicken’s egg, green and red chilli peppers, Chinese barbecue sauce salt, sugar and sesame seeds. The eggs are made into an omelette on a metal plate and the eggplant cooked separately with the chilli peppers and barbecue sauce. When done, the eggplant is served over the omelette, sprinkled with the sesame seeds.

 

金牌烧汁酿广茄 Gold Medal Braised Eggplant /500

 

This is a ‘show-off’ dish demonstrating knife skills and presentation. Otherwise it is a fairly simple dish.

 

Ingredients: Eggplant, pork, cabbage, white sesame seeds, salt, barbecue sauce, chicken extract, starch

 

The eggplant is cut using what is known as ‘flower knife’ style. Using the cleaver, the chef cuts the eggplant at approximately 2 mm intervals, slicing almost but not quite all the way through. When done, the eggplant can be opened up accordion style. You can see a demonstration here, although it is being shown on a cucumber, but the principle is the same.

 

The pork is chopped and mixed with the starch and a little water. The cabbage is sliced and scalded in boiling water. The pork is stir fried. The eggplant is briefly fried in the wok until coloured then braised with the salt, chicken extract, barbecue sauce and water and “the right amount of water”.

 

It is served by topping the eggplant with the pork and remaining braising liquid. The cabbage is placed on top of that then the whole lot sprinkled with sesame seeds.

 

三鲜烧味茄 Three Delicacy Roast Flavour Eggplant /500

 

三鲜 or three delicacies is common combination with many dishes described as ‘three delicacy XXXX’. It basically means the main ingredient (here the eggplant) along with three other relatively important ingredients.

 

In this case they are squid, shrimp and jelly fish. Other ingredients are green and red chilli peppers,  baby bok choy, Chinese rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and salt.

 

The baby bok choy is washed and separated into individual leaves. These are then briefly scalded in boiling water, then placed leaf by leaf around the perimeter of a circular plate.

 

The squid is cleaned then ‘flower cut’ by scoring diamond shaped lines across the inside, before cutting into small pieces. (Technique illustrated here.) The shrimp are shelled and the jelly fish sliced. They are all stir fried together with the green and red chillies until almost cooked, then salt, wine and the two soy sauces are added. Continue cooking. When ready, the seafood mixture is done it is piled into the centre of plate so that it is surrounded by the bok choy leaves.

 

The eggplant is briefly stir fried to colour, then a little water is added. Continue to braise lightly until done. One slice of eggplant is placed on top of each bok choy leaf and the dish is ready to serve.

 

As ever with Chinese cookbooks, the above recipes are somewhat short on detail. Few amounts are given for ingredients and cooking times are never given - just 'until cooked'.

 

Back soon with the northern eggplant dishes.

 

____________________

 

Re: Sweet and Sour: Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbook, Sichuan Cookery (UK title) or Land of Plenty (US title) has excellent recipes for sweet and sour pork, s+s fish, s+s lotus root, s+s chiili peppers etc. As she says "light years away from the synthetic-looking orange confections served under the same name in the West." If you haven't got the book, beg, borrow or steal. Or try Amazon. It is highly recommended.

 

The sweet and sour pork tenderloin is this book is slightly different. I'll get back to you on that one later, too.


Edited by liuzhou, 25 May 2014 - 08:59 PM.

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#35 liuzhou

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 12:38 AM

Now we leap over a thousand miles and see what they do with their eggplants up in the frozen waste lands. Actually, although I've spent nearly all my time in China in the south, I have often visited the north and it ain't so bad. The winters are cruel and Beijing is horrible any time of year, but I've been worse places than Jilin or Heilongjiang. 

 

Northeast China, historically also known as Manchuria*, is a geographical region of China. It consists specifically of the three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang” – Wikipedia

 

(* Manchuria - a term the Chinese loathe. It is still painful reminder of the Japanese occupation of the 1930s and the puppet government which was set up, nominally under the last emperor.)

 

Dongbei or North-Eastern China (in Chinese it is east-northern) has cold, cold winters and fresh vegetables can be rare.

 

东北茄段 North-Eastern Eggplant /527

 

This is a very simple dish to be served alongside other dishes.

 

Ingredients (as listed) : 200g eggplant, a little red chilli pepper. 3g salt, sesame oil, sesame seed paste, an appropriate amount of coriander leaf (cilantro).

 

Peel the aubergines and chop the flesh into chunks. Chop the red chilli peppers and the coriander.

 

Boil the eggplant until cooked, then drain. Add salt and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with red pepper and coriander. Serve.

 

Mix sesame seed paste and salt in a small dish and serve alongside as a dip.

 

 

天津茄泥 Tianjin Eggplant /527

 

Tianjin is a large industrial and port city on the coast near Beijing. Because of its location, its cuisine is heavily seafood orientated, but they also go in for a lot of donkey meat (delicious!) and mutton (ditto). It is a meat dominated cuisine, largely because of the difficulty in sourcing vegetables in the harsh winter months.

 

This is another simple dish.

 

Ingredients (as listed): 200g Eggplant, chilli oil, salt, soy sauce, coriander (cilantro), minced garlic.  

 

The eggplant is washed, skinned and sliced into rounds; the coriander chopped.

 

The eggplant slices are arranged on a circular plate in overlapping slices working to the centre in a spiral making a neat mound resembling an upturned bowl . (I wish I could post the picture from the book – this is difficult to explain! I might have to prepare one and photograph it myself at the weekend. I have searched the interweb, but with no luck))

 

The prepared eggplant is then steamed until cooked. No timing is given. In the meantime a wok is put on to heat up. The chilli oil, salt, soy sauce and a “dribble” of water are added and cooked until fragrant. This 'sauce' is then poured over the eggplant, the coriander and minced garlic sprinkled on top. Serve.

 

京酱八宝茄 Beijing Eight Treasure Eggplant /527

 

This is a bit more complicated dish. ‘Eight Treasure’, like ‘Three Delicacy’ is a term used to describe many dishes from cheap rice porridges in school or factory canteens all the way up to intricate (and very expensive) imperial cuisine. There doesn't actually have to be 8 ingredients. Any time you see a Chinese number add the word ‘approximately’. Even 5-spice powder doesn't necessarily contain only five spices in China!

 

Ingredients (as listed): 200g eggplant, 100g squid tentacles, green onion, cucumber, red bell peppers, bean curd skin, chilli bean sauce (sold in Asian stores as doubanjiang  or toubanjiang etc.)  and salt.

 

The eggplant is washed and cut into strips, the squid tentacles washed and cut into segments, onions cut into flowers, cucumbers and red peppers washed and cut into thin strips.

 

The cucumbers and red peppers are wrapped in the bean curd skin to make rolls. These are then briefly steamed.

 

The eggplant and squid tentacles are quickly stir fried, then a little water is added along with the chilli bean paste and salt. This continues to cook until fragrant and the eggplant is fully done.

 

The vegetable wraps are arranged neatly around the edge of a circular plate and the eggplant and squid in sauce poured into the centre.

 

Serve

 

___________________________________________

 

 

Very different from the southern eggplant dishes. Seems the northerners don't like eggplant skin (although the Beijing one retains the skin). I've never seen them skinned in the south.

 

The book doesn't include what I guess to be the most common eggplant dish – 茄子肉末 qié zi ròu mò – stir fried eggplant with minced pork, garlic, chilli pepper, green onion and coriander (cilantro), soy sauce etc. Served everywhere from at home, to roadside shacks to college or factory canteens, to up-market restaurants. Probably so well known there is no need to include it in a cookbook. Real comfort food.

I'll be back in a few days with info the other dishes Smithy asked about. I just received a phone call from one of my researchers who is up a mountain on the Guangxi - Hunan - Guizhou border area and has tracked down someone I've been trying to find for about three years, and discovered the person is willing to talk to me. A shaman. Allegedly a real one. If you never hear from me again, I've probably gone to the spirit world. I wonder what they eat there. And how they deal with ghostly eggplants.


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#36 patrickamory

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

Thanks liuzhou this is really great. Please do keep it up!



#37 Dejah

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:37 AM

Just getting back on the egullet boat. Loved this video series and really wish I could read Chinese! Thanks Liuzhou for this thread.


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#38 liuzhou

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:33 AM

Just getting back on the egullet boat. Loved this video series

 

 

Wait till you see series two!



#39 liuzhou

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:05 AM

Tiger Skin Preserved Egg /387 

 

Preserved egg here refers to what you may know as Century Eggs, Thousand Year Old Eggs etc. More info on my blog here. Many, if not most, foreigners won't touch them. I remember an amusing video where a Chinese couple were offered some blue cheese and were revolted. Then a Western couple (British, as I recall) were offered the preserved egg and had exactly the same reaction. Actually I'm sure anyone who likes a hard boiled egg would like these in a blind tasting. They taste just the same, but more so. An exaggerated egg taste. I love them.

 

pidan-1.jpg

 

In theory you could make these yourself, but no one ever does. Every supermarket and egg stall in the farmers' market has them.

 

"Tiger skin" is a fairly common cooking method for things like green chilli peppers and green beans. It refers to the exterior of the vegetable blistering and wrinkling under the heat of  intensely hot oil. It is said the end result resembles tiger skin. The most famous 'tiger skin' dish is probably the Sichuan favourite - Tiger Skin Green Peppers. There is recipe in the the Fuchsia Dunlop book I mentioned a few posts back.

 

Here is a picture of some tiger skin chilli peppers with dry fried beans, which I made a while back. You can see the chillies at the bottom left.

 

tiger skin peppers dried fried beans.jpg

 

The Tiger Skin Preserved Egg recipe is for the eggs to be cleaned, shelled and cut into quarters or eighths and arranged in a circle around the edge of a plate.

 

Green chilli peppers are briskly fried at a high temperature until they take on the 'tiger-skin' appearance as described above. They are then placed in the centre of the plate. 

 

A dressing made from soy sauce, MSG, and salt is poured over the chillies, some sesame oil sprinkled over the whole dish and it is served.

 

(More tomorrow. The shaman cancelled. Grrr.)


Edited by liuzhou, 27 May 2014 - 08:08 AM.


#40 huiray

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:15 AM


(More tomorrow. The shaman cancelled. Grrr.)

 

I wondered about that. :-)  You mentioned that you might never communicate with us again in a temporal sense when you described that phone call you got. :-D.



#41 Smithy

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 09:44 AM

Yes, it's a pleasant surprise to see you here, liuzhou.

That's interesting about the tiger skin peppers. My usual way of cooking hot peppers is to blister them, then peel and use the peeled flesh in whatever I'm making. It looks like you're using the skins as well. Do you remove the seeds and veins first?

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#42 liuzhou

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:17 PM

 

It looks like you're using the skins as well. Do you remove the seeds and veins first?

 

Yes, we use the skins, too.

 

No. We, don't remove seeds or veins when preparing tiger-skin style. They are usually fried whole.



#43 liuzhou

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:23 PM

Jinsha Green Beans /341

 

You caught me out on this one. When I originally translated it, I assumed incorrectly that Jinsha referred to a place name. I've been to JinshaCounty in Guizhou province and made the wrong correction. 'Jinsha' actually means 'golden sand' (making it an odd name for a place in landlocked Guizhou).

I should have looked at the recipe then. The meaning in the context of the recipe becomes very clear.

 

Ingredients: 300g green beans, 1 salted duck egg yolk, salt, MSG, sesame oil.

 

The green beans are cut into uniform length pieces and put into boiling water until cooked. Drain, then stir in salt and MSG. Arrange neatly on a serving plate, dress with a little sesame oil then crumble the egg yolk (golden sand!) over the beans.

 

Serve.

 

 

Shaoxing Drunken Fish /379

 

Drunken XXXX in Chinese cuisine refers to the XXXX being cooked in wine (usually Chinese rice wine). Drunken chicken, drunken fish, drunken shrimp, drunken crab, drunken tofu etc are all common. Recipes vary widely. Although this one is basic and standard.

 

Shaoxing is a city in Zhejiang province, eastern China and produces what is regarded as the best cooking wine. It is the standard cooking wine for most Chinese cooks. (The higher grade wines are also drinkable.)

 

NOTE: In the USA, salt is added to Shaoxing wine to render it undrinkable and so enable it to be sold in stores without alcohol permits. Unsalted Shaoxing wine is available in Chinese and general Asian stores and is much preferred. .

 

Ingredients: 400g silver carp, 5g pickled salted plums, 5g salt, 50g Shaoxing rice wine, 2g sugar.

 

 

The fish is cut into pieces. The plums are boiled for two minutes, then the salt and sugar are added along with the Shaoxing wine .When the sugar has dissolved the mixture is removed from the heat and allowed to cool. The cool mixture is then used to marinate the fish, until it is ‘tasty’ (They don’t say how long.).

 

The fish is then steamed until cooked and served.

 

 

Grandmother’s Family Style Drunken Fish /393

 

 

This is a variation on the above.

 

Ingredients: 400g fish (no particular fish is specified, but again carp would be the most likely choice.  Tilapia would also work well), salt, cooking wine , vinegar.

 

The fish is washed and cut into largish pieces, scalded briefly in boiling water, then drained and left to cool. 

 

A marinade is made by mixing the rice wine and vinegar with the salt. The fish is marinated as above, then steamed for twenty minutes or until done. Serve.

 

 

Peacock Mandarin Fish

 

Again a relatively simple dish, but this time made complex by its presentation.

 

Ingredients: 1 Mandarin Fish, Salt, Cooking Wine, Soy Sauce*, Vegetable Oil

 

The fish is cleaned, then the head and tail are removed and reserved. The body of the fish is then sliced into pieces and rubbed with the salt and rice wine. It is left to ‘pickle’ for 10 minutes.

 

The head and tail are arranged to one side of a round serving plate with the head looking out and the tail behind. The body meat is then arranged around the head and tail in a fan shape (the peacock’s tail). (A similar dish is pictured here.)

 

The fish is then steamed for about 10 minutes. The soy sauce is poured over the fish, then a little vegetable oil is heated up and pored over the fish, too.

 

Serve.

 

The finished dish looks like this

 

 

*The soy sauce called for in the recipe is a type of soy sauce with added flavourings designed for use with steamed fish. Regular light soy sauce will do just fine if the former is not available.


Edited by liuzhou, 27 May 2014 - 07:29 PM.


#44 Smithy

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:47 PM

Wow! Thank you for the photo of the peacock fish; words don't do it justice. I think I'll have to leave that one for someone else to do. However, the drunken fish recipe(s) sound promising, and I'm always looking for new ways to do green beans. I appreciate the additional notes on Shaoxing wine and the type of soy sauce needed.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown


#45 liuzhou

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:24 PM

 

Wow! Thank you for the photo of the peacock fish; words don't do it justice. I think I'll have to leave that one for someone else to do. However, the drunken fish recipe(s) sound promising, and I'm always looking for new ways to do green beans. I appreciate the additional notes on Shaoxing wine and the type of soy sauce needed.

 

You are welcome.

 

One thing I forgot to point out is that the Chinese tend to cook their fish on the bone.  Although the book doesn't specifically say that the examples I just gave would be on-the-bone, it is taken as read by the Chinese cook.

 

That said, there is no reason not to used de-boned fish if you prefer. (Well, there is a reason, but that's a whole other story!)

 

And here is the soy soy sauce referred to in the recipe. This is not the brand I normally use, but this one is available in the USA and most of Europe. Lee Kum Key USA.

 

seasoned soy sauce for seafood.jpg



#46 liuzhou

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:14 AM

 

 

I could go on and on, but I don't want to be *too* greedy. I'll stop at one more, for now:
Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin /484
I ask about this because I've always been disappointed in what passes for "sweet and sour" dishes in Chinese restaurants in the USA. It may be because my tastes just don't run in that direction, but I'm prepared to think I've just never had a properly balanced sweet and sour dish.

 

Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin /484

 

This is but one of many authentically Chinese recipes for sweet and sour pork It is unusual in that it doesn't contain vinegar as such, but gets its sourness from tomato ketchup (which, of course, contains vinegar). There are several brands of tomato ketchup available in China but good old Mr Heinz's variety is the most commonly available.

 

The starch mentioned in the ingredients list can be potato starch, corn starch etc.

 

Ingredients: 300g pork tenderloin, I egg, 3g salt, 5g white sesame seeds, 5g chopped green onion, white granulated sugar, tomato ketchup, starch.

 

The pork is cleaned and cut into thin strips. The egg is beaten.

 

The starch is mixed into the egg and the pork added.

 

Oil is heated in a wok until smoking then the pork added and stir fried vigorously until the exterior turns a golden-yellow colour. Add salt, sugar and tomato ketchup and stir until warmed through.

 

Arrange pork on a serving plate, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped green onion and serve.

____________________________

 

I have all the ingredients for this one to hand. I think I may know what's for dinner.

 

That completes your list of requests, Smithy. Feel free to ask about any others which are of interest. 


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#47 patrickamory

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:11 PM

Beautifully seared green beans and peppers liuzhou! Is that your preparation? It looks just about perfect.

 

And I love preserved eggs… especially in congee.



#48 liuzhou

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:52 PM

 

Beautifully seared green beans and peppers liuzhou! Is that your preparation? It looks just about perfect.

 

Thank you. Yes, I prepared them. They aren't difficult to do.



#49 liuzhou

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:39 PM

Recently, I picked up this little book entitled "Three Highs - How to Eat, How to Heal". It cost me the equivalent of a whole 78 cents (US) or 47 pence (UK).

 

cover.jpg

 

Chinese thought traditionally considers food to be medicine as much as sustenance. Supermarkets usually have shelf loads of herbal oddities which are only used medicinally but are sold right next to the regular vegetables etc.

 

If you have any ailment, you will be given a list of food items you MUST avoid and a list of what you should be eating. I gave up on eating with one friend, a brilliant academic but notorious hypochondriac. Every time I see her, she cant eat this or she can't eat that because she has a pimple on her chin or because she has contracted some rare, and probably fatal, tropical disease only previously found in one species of lizard. 

 

The medical "qualities" of certain foods may have some basis in fact or may be total superstition, but it seems most people take it seriously.

 

Anyway, the Three Highs referred to in the book title are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. The book is offering recipes for dishes guaranteed to reduce these symptoms.

 

I suffer from none of these highs, but was curious and quite liked the sound of some of the recipes. Rumours that I bought it in the mistaken belief it was about whisky, marijuana and cocaine are completely unfounded.

 

Here is a list of the dishes for high blood pressure. (Numbers refer to book pages)

 

 

12 菠菜拌牡蛎 Spinach and Oysters
12 芹菜拌墨鱼 Celery and Cuttlefish
13 黄瓜老醋花生仁 Cucumber with Vinegar Peanuts
13 黄豆拌芦荟 Soybeans with Aloe
14 木耳拌黄瓜 Wood Ear Fungus and Cucumber
14 双仁拌茼蒿 Sesame and Peanut with Chrysanthemum
15 白萝卜炖排骨 Daikon Radish and Stewed Pork Ribs
15 芦笋鸡块 Asparagus Chicken
16 芝麻带鱼 Sesame Hairtail Fish
16 鲇鱼烧豆腐 Catfish with Stewed Tofu
17 韭菜炒虾仁 Chinese Chives and Fried Shrimp
17 油菜炒虾皮 Rape and Fried Dried Shrimp
18 海带烧黄豆 Kelp and Stewed Tofu
18蘑菇炒刀豆 Mushrooms and Fried Sword Beans
19 香芹炒黄豆芽 Celery with Fried Soy Bean Shoots
19 素炒豌豆苗 Simple Fried Pea Shoots
20 圣女果炒苦瓜 Cherry Tomatoes Fried with Bitter Melon
20 番茄冬瓜 Tomato and Winter Squash
21 番茄丝瓜 Tomato and Towel Gourd
21 番茄烧豆腐 Tomato and Tofu Stew
22 胡萝卜煎蛋 Carrot Omelette
22 南瓜肉丝汤 Pumpkin and Shredded Pork Soup
23 火腿洋葱汤 Ham and Onion Soup
23 枸杞芹菜鱼片汤 Goji, Celery and Fish Soup
24 海蜇荸荠汤 Jelly Fish and Water Chestnut Soup
24 海带木耳菜汤 Kelp and Wood Ear Fungus Vegetable Soup
25 番茄豆腐蛋花汤 Tomato and Tofu Egg Drop Soup
25 生菜豆腐汤 Lettuce and Bean Curd Soup
26 五味降压汤 Five Flavour Reduced Soup
26 苹果银耳瘦肉汤 Apple, Tremella and Lean Pork Soup
27 竹荪黄瓜汤 Bamboo and Cucumber Soup
27 毛豆丝瓜汤 Soya Bean and Towel Gourd Soup

 

I'll add the other two categories later.



#50 liuzhou

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:08 PM

These are the dishes recommended for high cholesterol. Western medical thinking may be surprised at how many of them are fried.

 

34 肉丝拌黄瓜海蜇 Shredded Pork with Cucumber and Jelly Fish
34 白菜心拌海蜇 Cabbage Heart with Jelly Fish
35 洋葱拌木耳 Onion and Wood Ear Fungus
35 猪肉炒山楂 Fried Pork with Chinese Haws
36 扁豆炒肉丝 Fried Hyacinth Bean with Shredded Pork
36 番茄牛腩煲 Tomato and Beef Tenderloin
37 牛肉烧白萝卜 Beef Stewed with Daikon Radish
37 粟子炖乌鸡 Stewed Black Chicken (Silkie) with Millet
38 萝卜醋鱼 Vinegar Fish with Radish38 豆瓣酱海参
39 海米拌双椒 Dried Shrimp with Two Peppers
39 香菇炒豆苗 Fried Shiitake Mushroom with Beansprouts
40 素烩三菇 Braised 3 Mushrooms (White Button, Dried Shiitake, Fresh Straw
Mushrooms)
40 木耳烧腐竹 Stewed Dried Soya Milk Rolls with Wood Ear Fungus
41 菠菜腐竹 Dried Soya Milk Rolls with Spinach
41 圆白菜炝玉米 Boiled Sweetcorn with Cabbage
42 丝瓜烧豆腐 Stewed Tofu and Towel Gourd
42 木耳炝苦瓜 Boiled Bitter Melon with Wood Ear Mushrooms
43 蹄筋花生汤 Beef Tendon and Peanut Soup
43 木耳山楂粥 Wood Ear Fungus and Chinese Haw Rice Porridge



#51 liuzhou

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:14 AM

And finally, dishes for high blood sugar:

 

 

56 凉拌莴笋丝 Cold Dressed Asparagus Lettuce Strips
56 酸辣瓜条 Hot and Sour Cucumber Sticks
57 甘蓝沙拉 Wild Cabbage Salad
57 凉拌三样 Cold Dressed Mixed Vegetables
58 香菜拌豆腐丝 Tofu with Coriander (Cilantro)
58 薏米拌绿豆芽 Job's Tears with Mung Bean Sprouts
59 薏米大蒜拌菇子 Job's Tears and Garlic Mushrooms
59 什锦沙垃 Mixed Salad
60 香油拌菠菜 Spinach with Sesame Oil
60 菊花肉丝 Chrysanthemum Pork
61 火腿炒冬瓜 Fried Wax Gourd with Ham
61 蚝油牛肉 Oyster Sauce Beef
62 葱爆羊肉 Onion Fried Mutton
62 菠菜木耳鸡蛋 Spinach and Wood Ear Fungus with Egg
63 杞叶煎蛋 Wolfberry Leaf Omelette
63 番茄炒鸡蛋 Scrambled Egg with Tomato
64 沙参天冬炖老鸭 Stewed Duck with Lady Bells (Adenophora) and Asparagus
Cochinchinensis
64 豆腐鲫鱼 Tofu and Crucian Carp
65 竹荪鱼卷 Bamboo Fish Rolls
65 海米冬瓜 Wax Gourd with Dried Shrimp
66 扇贝炖山药 Chinese Yam with Scallops
66 山药炒田螺 Chinese Yam with River Snails
67 山药炒豆芽 Chinese Yam with Bean Sprouts
67 双茄片 Two Eggplant Slices
68 笋尖焖豆腐 Bamboo Shoot Tips with Tofu
68 素烧南瓜 Plain Boiled Pumpkin
69 口蘑炒冬瓜 Wax Gourd with Dried Mushroom
69 金须瘦肉汤 Golden Lean Pork Soup with Corn
70 南瓜牛肉汤 Pumpkin and Beef Soup
70 鱼蓉瘦肉粥 Minced Fish and Lean Pork Rice Porridge
71 猪肉黑豆粥 Pork and Black Bean Rice Porridge
71 石榴西米粥 Pomegranate Rice Porridge

 

As I said, I don't suffer from any of those conditions, but some of the recipes appeal to my taste buds.



#52 liuzhou

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:50 AM

I'm going to go out on a safe limb and say that few, if any people, associate microwave ovens with Chinese cuisine, yet China is not only the world's biggest manufacturer of microwaves (one Chinese company produces more than half the world output), but it is also the largest consumer. 

 

I'm still mystified though what they actually do with them.

 

Cooking from scratch in a microwave? No. 

 

Defrosting frozen food? No. There is very, very little use of frozen food in China.

 

Reheating leftovers? Maybe.

 

I'm sure 99% are just 'keeping up with the Jones's' acquisitions. They sit proudly in view to any visitors, usually with the manufacturer's sticky labels still attached.

 

I have one. I didn't buy it. It was a gift from an erstwhile employer who thought that, being a foreigner, I couldn't live without one. I had never possessed on in my life prior to that. It sits on top of the fridge in the sitting room of my second home in the countryside, where I may spend 14 nights a year, so you can imagine how much I use it. I've never set the clock. The only time I recall using it was last year to refresh some slightly stale bread with a 5 second burst. I don't have one in my real home.

 

Last week, I was cleaning out some very old papers and came across the recipe book which came with the machine. You know the sort of thing. I've been sitting studying it and it is bizarre.

 

weibolushipu.jpg

 

In the title, Weibolu (微波炉 wéi bō lú) means 'microwave' and Shipu (

食谱 shí pǔ) means 'cookbook'.

 

Here are the contents:

 

 

SEAFOOD

蒜蓉虾 Minced Garlic Shrimp
豉汁鱼云Fish with Fermented Soy Bean Sauce
南乳煎蚝 Fried Oyster with Fermented Bean Curd
豉椒炒田鸡 Stir-Fried Frog with Chilli and Fermented Soya Beans
宫保对虾 Kungpo Prawns
豆豉蒸鱼 Steamed Fish with Fermented Black Beans
炒海瓜子 Stir-fried Venus Clams
姜葱焗蟹 Ginger and Onion Fried Crab
煎酿辣椒 Fried Beer Peppers
香煎鱼块 Fragrant Fried Fish

MEAT

味菜牛柳丝 Tasty Beef Strips
炸排骨 Fried Pork Ribs
韭王锒芽肉丝 Pork with Leek and Beansprouts
洋葱猪扒 Onion Braised Pork
自制肉骨 Home Made Pork Ribs
梅子排骨 Pork Ribs with Chinese Plum
东坡肉 Dong Po Pork

POULTRY

红烧鸡腿 Red-Cooked Chicken Leg
豉油皇乳鸽 Young Pigeon
咸酸菜鸭汤 Salted Cabbage and Duck Soup
麻辣子鸡 Hot and Spicy Chicken
纸包鸡 Paper Bag Chicken
好味鸡 Great Taste Chicken

VEGETABLES

蒜蓉酸梅拌茄子 Eggplant with Minced Garlic and Sour Plum
煎酿三宝 Fried Three Treasures
蟹肉西兰花 Crab Meat with Broccoli
盐水蚕豆 Brined Broad Beans
发财鲜竹卷 "Get Rich" Rare Bamboo Roll
扒双冬 Stewed Two Winters (Winter Bamboo and "Winter Mushrooms" (Dried Shiitake)

麻婆豆腐 Mapo Doufu
蚝油芥兰 Kai-Lan with Oyster Sauce
玉兰鲜鱿 Fresh Squid with Yulan Magnolia
罗汉斋 Buddhist Vegetables

OTHERS

芫茜鲩鱼片汤米粉 Grass Carp Slices, Coriander Leaf (Cilantro), Rice Noodles
in Soup
椰蓉汤丸 Boiled Shredded Coconut Balls
茶碗蒸蛋 Teacup Steamed Egg
韭菜饺子 Chinese Chive Dumplings (Jiaozi)
北菇鸡饭 Beijing Chicken and Mushroom Rice
红环莲子百合糖水八宝芋泥 Lotus Seed and Lily Eight Treasure Taro with Syrup
荷叶饭 Lotus Leaf Rice
双菇瓣面 Two Mushroom Noodles

ROASTS / BAKES

香草烧鸡 Sweet Grass Roast Chicken
金沙骨 Jinsha Ribs
胡萝卜蛋糕 Carrot Cake
牛肉串烧 Beef Kebabs

I am still trying to work out how anything cooked in a microwave can be described as a stir fry. I would be astonished if anyone ever actually cooked those dishes, including whoever produced the book. I certainly haven't, nor ever will.

 

But interesting, perhaps. Are English language recipe books which come with the machine that awful?



#53 Smithy

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:27 AM

I think for the most part they've stopped providing cookbooks with microwave ovens in the USA, on the assumption that everyone knows how to use one by now, and in the interest of cutting the cost of publications. (User's manuals in this country continue to decline in the way of useful content, while gaining lawyer-friendly entries along the lines of 'do not try to dry your pet in this machine'.) (n.b. I made that example up, but have seen equally outrageous and useless admonitions occupying otherwise-valuable print space.)

The microwave cookbooks I inherited from my mother generally have well-meaning but tasteless recipes.
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#54 liuzhou

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:49 PM

Not Chinese, but I have a friend in London (an excellent cook)  who swears by this book. I have eaten stuff she has made from it and it was very good. Especially the microwave risotto.



#55 nakji

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:30 PM

I guess microwave use goes hand in hand with freezer use for a lot of people in the west - and chest freezers are not used much here either. It's a good question as to what everyone is using the microwaves for, then. I use mine to sterilize my son's bottles.

 

I miss my Japanese microwave, which had a sake setting.

 

liuzhou, I wonder if, in your collection of Chinese cook book, if you've come across a sweet and sour pork recipe made mainly with black vinegar? I had hope the recipe Smithy requested above would be that sort, but it is a ketchup-based one. I had a vinegar-based one in Yunnan that I really enjoyed, and would love to try it again. Google searches have not yielded anything with the deep, dark, black sauce I remember.


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#56 liuzhou

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 09:33 PM

liuzhou, I wonder if, in your collection of Chinese cook book, if you've come across a sweet and sour pork recipe made mainly with black vinegar? I had hope the recipe Smithy requested above would be that sort, but it is a ketchup-based one. I had a vinegar-based one in Yunnan that I really enjoyed, and would love to try it again.

 

 

Fuchsia Dunlop has a recipe for S&S Pork (mentioned above) which uses black vinegar, rather than ketchup. Here it is. How close it is to what you ate in Yunnan, I don't know, but it is certainly just like that I have eaten in Sichuan and here in Guangxi.



#57 liuzhou

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 11:05 PM

I've Googled in Chinese for Yunnan Sweet and Sour, but nothing particularly black turns up. Here is the 'images' page. See anything similar?

 

I have come across one recipe for Sweet and Sour Fish which sees to be particular to Yunnan and uses black vinegar.

 

Generally speaking, in China, S&S Fish is much more common than S&S Pork or Chicken.


Edited by liuzhou, 14 June 2014 - 11:18 PM.


#58 nakji

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 12:37 AM

Fuchsia Dunlop is always a good place to start, thanks for that. The pork was boneless and lean, and had a thin batter, as she describes. The sauce was intensely dark and sweet/sour as I recall. I had the dish at the Linden Centre in Dali, so I think it was somewhat adapted for foreign palates.



#59 liuzhou

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:07 AM

 

I had the dish at the Linden Centre in Dali, so I think it was somewhat adapted for foreign palates.

 

Probably. Black vinegar is not a traditional ingredient in Yunnan. It is from eastern China, thousands of miles away.

 

Anyway, please let me know if the Dunlop recipe gets close or not.



#60 nakji

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:47 PM

I will! I'll have to find some time next weekend to have a crack at it. The dish stood out on their menu as not being very Yunnan-ese, but much of the clientele was American, so it made sense in that context. They had some other lovely Yunnanese-style (I think?) potato dishes, but I preferred the dishes we got up north in Zhongdian, with their yak and cheese dishes.







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